The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Maki
2016, Finland-Sweden-Germany, 92’, Color, Finnish
Director: Juho Kuosmanen
Cast: Julianne Nicholson, Takashi, Margo Martindale
2016 Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard Award
On the rings of love it does not matter who the winner is.
Juho Kuosmanen’s first feature film which impressively succeeded to be 2016 Cannes Film Festival’s ‘Un Certain Regard’ champion. This is a silently captivating portrait of an unusual hero and an unusual boxing bio-drama.
1962, summer. We are introduced to Olli Mäki, a shy, self-effacing young boxer at the age of 25, three years after he won the European lightweight title as an amateur. When he’s offered a chance to compete in the first world title fight ever to be hosted in Helsinki, he is requires to drop to the featherweight division prompting a significant weightloss program atop an already punishing training regimen. From the Finnish countryside to the bright lights of Helsinki, everything has been prepared for his fame and fortune, but there is a problem. This is Raija, the sweet, equally humble young woman for whom he falls head over heels… She steals his heart and his attention. On the day of the championship match he gets a knockout, but this day remains as the happiest day in his life which he never regrets…
As Muhammad Ali once famously explained, a good boxer must float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, words that Juho Kuosmanen has clearly taken to heart with Olli Maki.